When I had my first shiny draft ready for submission to my dream publisher, I cruised over to their website and clicked on their submission page. "These are the submission guidelines for all writers seeking publication."
And the list was extensive.
I perused the list and finally about three quarters of the way down the page, they listed submission guidelines that I thankfully read. They wanted a .doc file and suggested including your contact information not only in your email, but also in the document. They wanted manuscripts formatted in traditional format. If we didn't know what that was, we were told to Google it.
Google I did. I found William Shunn's Manuscript formatting. Not only did he give the information, he did so by writing it in a document so you could actually SEE what he was talking about. Excellent!
I set up a Word document that was correctly formatted and saved it as a template. I use that for each short story I write.
How to format your manuscript:
- In the upper left hand corner:
- Your legal name (what they would use to pay you)
- phone number
- email address
- Approximate word count
- Your title should be centered and begin half way down the first page.
- Your by line is also centered and should be beneath your title. This is where you put your pen name if using one.
- Your story begins two double spaced lines under the by line.
- Your story should be double spaced.
- Use 12 point Times New Roman, Palatino or Garamond fonts
- Single space after a period.
- Do not tab indent. Use the .25 indent feature in Word.
- Double space
- 1.25 margins all around
- Include a header or footer with your name, title and page number.
- Do not use extra lines between paragraphs.
- Left justify the document.
If you would like your own copy of my document, you can download my Formatted Submission Template